One of the most important things that we can learn is how to sit and be present with our emotions. That, if we take the time to experience them fully, and locate where they live in our body, not only will they not hurt us, but they will go away.
Our feelings are begging to be felt- not ignored. If we ignore the uncomfortable ones, they’ll keep intensifying, nagging at us to get our attention, until finally they’ll begin find a home in our body where they’ll cause us physical pain and discomfort rather than emotional pain and discomfort.
Every year, I rejoice when summer begins and mourn when it ends. While others are unleashing their sweaters and boots and pumpkin spice lattes, I try to prolong summer’s carefree gaiety by sipping on iced tea and walking around barefoot until it finally becomes too cold to do so comfortably. But as is inevitable, I have finally had to don my warm socks and change my tea from iced to hot. The breeze is cool and the trees are erupting in fiery brilliance. I can’t deny it anymore- fall is here.
I’ve decided that instead of lamenting the change of seasons, I’ll try to embrace it. I’ve challenged myself to come up with a list of things that I appreciate about the fall:
Fall is perhaps the only time I am able to appreciate a gray sky. There’s just something about the contrast between the dreary clouds and the bright foliage that I find to be poetically beautiful. It’s a natural reminder of how our joyful days and our difficult ones contrast each other in order to create beauty in our lives.
Fall presents us with a valuable reminder to be in the present. As I go about my day, I’ll often notice a strikingly beautiful tree or scene. I’ll say to myself, “Wow, I’ll have to stop and take a picture the next time I pass by here.” But naturally, when I come back, even if it is just a day or two later, the tree doesn’t look the same and the lighting is all wrong. The moment is gone, and I’ve missed my chance to take an artistic photograph.
Fall shows us that it is okay to adapt and let go of that which no longer serves us. We watch as the trees drop their leaves so that they may take care of themselves and survive throughout the harsh winter. Not only is that okay, it’s beautiful.
At Thanksgiving, we remember the importance of gratitude as we take a moment to celebrate and appreciate the blessings that we often take for granted. Science shows us that people who regularly practicegratitude are happier.
Fall teaches us impermanence by reminding us that change is inevitable.
What do you love about the fall? What else can we learn from the changing of the seasons?
In The Way of the Happy Woman, which I have just started reading, Sara Avant Stover recommends writing a YES and NO list as a reminder to keep yourself on track. The YES list contains all the things you should remember to do to keep yourself happy and healthy, and the NO list contains all the things you should remember not to do. It turns out, I had written mine a couple of months ago, only I called it my “Rules to Live By.” I share mine below: